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New Rules Make Retirement Investment Advisors Follow Fiduciary Standard

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Apr 6, 2016

RetirementThe U.S. Labor Department unveiled new rules that require financial professions who give retirement advice to follow the fiduciary standard, meaning that they must act solely in the best interests of their clients, even at the expense of their own firm, according to CNBC. This is in contrast to the suitability standard they currently operate under, which requires that there be reasonable basis for believing that the recommendation is suitable for their client. With this change, the same standards applied to SEC-registered investment advisors now apply to retirement investment advisors as well.

Labor Secretary Tom Perez said that the rule was needed as retirement investment advisors, operating under the suitability standard, could steer clients toward products that produced bigger commissions but were not the optimal choice for their clients, according to NPR. White House economists said, after conducting a study, that conflicts of interests resulted in $17 billion in losses for their customers a year.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan slammed the rule, calling it the “Obamacare for financial planning” in a recent statement. He said it will produce more paperwork, increase costs, and reduce options, and while he conceded its “noble intent,” he said it was a “one-size-fits-all” regulation. He said that legislation has already been proposed to hold up the new rule before its 2918 implementation date.